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Summary This category includes discussions of possible worlds that do not fit under the other subcategories of possible worlds
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234 found
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  1. Transworld Identity as a Problem for Essentialism About Kinds.Kaave Lajevardi - manuscript
    Essentialism about natural kinds involves talking about kinds across possible worlds. I argue that there is a non-trivial transworld identity problem here, which cannot be (dis)solved in the same way that Kripke treats the corresponding transworld identity problem for individuals. -/- I will briefly discuss some ideas for a solution. The upshot is scepticism concerning natural-kind essentialism.
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  2. Maximal Possibilities.David Sanson - manuscript
    Possible worlds are maximal possibilities. But what kind of thing is a maximal possibility? Not a maximal individual: there are maximal possibilities that are not maximal individuals, because each maximal individual could have any one of several maximal properties. And not a maximal property: there are maximal possibilities that are not maximal properties, because each maximal property could be had by any one of many possible maximal individuals. So if you like your worlds concrete, you should say that they are (...)
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  3. Possible Worlds and Possibilities of Substances.Vladislav Terekhovich - manuscript
    Despite the notions of possible worlds and substances are very important subjects of contemporary metaphysics, there are relatively few attempts to combine these in a united framework. This paper considers the metaphysical model of the origins and the evolution of possible worlds that occurs from an interaction between substances. I involve Leibniz’s doctrine of the striving possibles that every possibility of substance has its own essence and tendency towards existence. It is supposed that the activities of substances are constantly aimed (...)
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  4. The Ontological Significance of Foundherentism.Ryan Wasser - manuscript
    There will always be something endearing about a theorist who is willing to adopt a "third way" to a given problem, even if that third way is no more complicated than adopting the strengths of two competing positions, and mitigating the weakness in an attempt to resolve the issue at hand. In continental philosophy, Ricour gained notoriety by utilizing such an approach in his treatment of the Gadamer and Habermas debates, and Haack achieved similar renown in her attempt to bridge (...)
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  5. The Contingency of Creation and Divine Choice.Fatema Amijee - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion.
    According to the Principle of Sufficient Reason (‘PSR’), every fact has an explanation for why it obtains. If the PSR is true, there must be a sufficient reason for why God chose to create our world. But a sufficient reason for God’s choice plausibly necessitates that choice. It thus seems that God could not have done otherwise, and that our world exists necessarily. We therefore appear forced to pick between the PSR, and the contingency of creation and divine choice. I (...)
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  6. Modal Realism is a Newcomb Problem.Scott Hill - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-13.
    Some philosophers worry that if modal realism is true, you have no reason to prevent evils. For if you prevent an evil, you’ll have a counterpart somewhere that allows a similar evil. And if you refrain, your counterpart will end up preventing the relevant evil. Either way one evil is prevented and one is allowed. Your act makes no difference. I argue that this is mistaken. If modal realism is true, you are in a variant of Newcomb’s Problem. And if (...)
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  7. Dualism About Possible Worlds.Michael Tze-Sung Longenecker - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-17.
    Dualism about possible worlds says that merely possible worlds aren’t concrete objects, but the actual world is concrete. This view seems to be the natural one for ersatzers about merely possible worlds to take; yet one is hard-pressed to find any defenders of it in contemporary modal metaphysics. The main reason is that Dualism struggles with the issue of how merely possible worlds could have been actual. I explain that there are two different Dualist strategies that can be taken to (...)
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  8. Modal Realism and the Possibility of Island Universes: Why There Are No Possible Worlds.Jiri Benovsky - 2021 - Metaphysica 22 (1):1-13.
    In this article, I defend Lewisian modal realism against objections arising from the possibility of ‘Island Universes’ and other similar cases. The problem comes from Lewis’ claim that possible worlds are spatio-temporally isolated. I suggest a modification of Lewisian modal realism in order to avoid this family of objections. This modification may sound quite radical since it amounts to abandoning the very notion of a possible world, but as radical as it may sound it in fact remains well in the (...)
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  9. The Limits of Classical Mereology: Mixed Fusions and the Failures of Mereological Hybridism.Joshua Kelleher - 2020 - Dissertation, The University of Queensland
    In this thesis I argue against unrestricted mereological hybridism, the view that there are absolutely no constraints on wholes having parts from many different logical or ontological categories, an exemplar of which I take to be ‘mixed fusions’. These are composite entities which have parts from at least two different categories – the membered (as in classes) and the non-membered (as in individuals). As a result, mixed fusions can also be understood to represent a variety of cross-category summation such as (...)
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  10. Agentive und andere Fähigkeiten: Bemerkungen zu Agents' Abilities von Romy Jaster.David Löwenstein - 2020 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 74 (3):448-453.
    Agents' Abilities ist ein Geschenk von einem Buch, das man nicht genug loben kann. Und deswegen versuche ich es erst gar nicht. Stattdessen beschränke ich mich auf einige konstruktiv-kritische Bemerkungen, die in zwei miteinander verbundenen Bereichen Perspektiven der Weiterentwicklung und Verfeinerung aufzeigen sollen.
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  11. I Do Not Believe in Meigas, but There Are Such. A Meinongian Empirical Case Based on Galician ‘Meigas’.Olga Ramirez Calle - 2020 - E-Logos Electronic Journal for Philosophy 27 (1):4-20.
    This paper aspires to meet a philosophical challenge posed to the author to give treatment to what was seen as a particularly nice Meinongian case1; namely the case of Galician Meigas. However, through the playful footpaths of enchanted Galician Meigas, I rehabilitate some relevant discussion on the justification of belief formation and come to some poignant philosophical insights regarding the understanding of possibilities. I hope both the leading promoter of the challenge and, of course, other philosophical readers are satisfied with (...)
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  12. Metaphysical and Absolute Possibility.Justin Clarke-Doane - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 8):1861-1872.
    It is widely alleged that metaphysical possibility is “absolute” possibility Conceivability and possibility, Clarendon, Oxford, 2002, p 16; Stalnaker, in: Stalnaker Ways a world might be: metaphysical and anti-metaphysical essays, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2003, pp 201–215; Williamson in Can J Philos 46:453–492, 2016). Kripke calls metaphysical necessity “necessity in the highest degree”. Van Inwagen claims that if P is metaphysically possible, then it is possible “tout court. Possible simpliciter. Possible period…. possib without qualification.” And Stalnaker writes, “we can agree (...)
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  13. Esencjalizm, antyhaecceityzm i haecceityzm.Karol Lenart - 2019 - Hybris 44 (1):131-151.
    A standard contemporary formulation of essentialism defines essential properties with a help of a concept of possible worlds. It is often argued that in order to use possible worlds effectively, facts about transworld identity of individuals need to be determined. In this paper I discuss how essentialist might attempt the issue of transworld identity of individuals. Specifically, I analyze a connection between essentialism and the two theories that explain the transworld identity issue, that is, haecceitism and antihaecceitism. I provide a (...)
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  14. What Matters in the Mirror of Time: Why Lucretius’ Symmetry Argument Fails.Lukas J. Meier - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (4):651-660.
    abstractBy appealing to the similarity between pre-vital and post-mortem nonexistence, Lucretius famously tried to show that our anxiety about death was irrational. His so-called Symmetry Argument has been attacked in various ways, but all of these strategies are themselves problematic. In this paper, I propose a new approach to undermining the argument: when Parfit’s distinction between identity and what matters is applied, not diachronically but across possible worlds, the alleged symmetry can be broken. Although the pre-vital and posthumous time spans (...)
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  15. Infinite Value and the Best of All Possible Worlds.Nevin Climenhaga - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (2):367-392.
    A common argument for atheism runs as follows: God would not create a world worse than other worlds he could have created instead. However, if God exists, he could have created a better world than this one. Therefore, God does not exist. In this paper I challenge the second premise of this argument. I argue that if God exists, our world will continue without end, with God continuing to create value-bearers, and sustaining and perfecting the value-bearers he has already created. (...)
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  16. Williamson on Counterpossibles.Berto Francesco, David Ripley, Graham Priest & Rohan French - 2018 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 47 (4):693-713.
    A counterpossible conditional is a counterfactual with an impossible antecedent. Common sense delivers the view that some such conditionals are true, and some are false. In recent publications, Timothy Williamson has defended the view that all are true. In this paper we defend the common sense view against Williamson’s objections.
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  17. Possible Worlds of History.Ilkka Lähteenmäki - 2018 - Journal of the Philosophy of History 12 (1):164-182.
    _ Source: _Page Count 19 The theory of possible worlds has been minimally employed in the field of theory and philosophy of history, even though it has found a place as a tool in other areas of philosophy. Discussion has mostly focused on arguments concerning counterfactual history’s status as either useful or harmful. The theory of possible worlds can, however be used also to analyze historical writing. The concept of textual possible worlds offers an interesting framework to work with for (...)
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  18. The Flexibility of Reality: An Essay on Modality, Representation, and Powers.David Limbaugh - 2018 - Dissertation, State University of New York at Buffalo
    This dissertation is about flexibility as a dimension of reality, an objective—independent of mind and language—phenomenon typically referred to as ‘metaphysical modality’. It develops a novel modal account of why reality could be different: that is, why claims like “Possibly, there are talking donkeys,” or “Humphrey could have won the election” are true or false. I contend that primitive dispositional properties called ‘powers’ explain such claims, and do so better than possible-world accounts of modality. The problem with possible-world accounts is (...)
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  19. Leibniz and Spinozist Necessitarianism.Ari Maunu - 2018 - Studia Leibnitiana 48 (2):261-267.
    It is sometimes argued that Leibniz’s metaphysical commitments lead to Spinozist Necessitarianism, i.e., the view, in Spinoza’s words, that “Things could not have been produced by God in any way or in any order other than that in which they have been produced”. Leibniz comments on this passage as follows: “This proposition may be true or false, depending on how it is explained”. I suggest in this paper that what Leibniz means by this comment can be fleshed out by making (...)
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  20. Possible Patterns.Jeffrey Sanford Russell & John Hawthorne - 2018 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 11.
    “There are no gaps in logical space,” David Lewis writes, giving voice to sentiment shared by many philosophers. But different natural ways of trying to make this sentiment precise turn out to conflict with one another. One is a *pattern* idea: “Any pattern of instantiation is metaphysically possible.” Another is a *cut and paste* idea: “For any objects in any worlds, there exists a world that contains any number of duplicates of all of those objects.” We use resources from model (...)
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  21. On Quantitative and Qualitative Parsimony.Maciej Sendłak - 2018 - Metaphilosophy 49 (1-2):153-166.
    The distinction between quantitative and qualitative parsimony is supposed to allow David Lewis to dismiss one of the charges against his modal realism: that is, the charge of bloated ontology. The aim of this paper is to undermine Lewis's response to this objection. In order to do this, a distinction between multipliable and nonmultipliable objects is introduced. Based on this it is argued that the acceptance of Lewis's response requires one to believe in modal realism in the first place—that is, (...)
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  22. Analytic Philosophy and the World of the Play.Michael Y. Bennett - 2017 - London: Routledge.
    Theatrical characters’ dual existence on stage and in text presents a unique, challenging case for the analytical philosopher. -/- Analytic Philosophy and the World of the Play re-examines the ontological status of theatre and its fictional objects through the "possible worlds" thesis, arguing that theatre is not a mirror of our world, but a re-creation of it. Taking a fresh look at theatre’s key elements, including the hotly contested relationships between character and actor; onstage and offstage "worlds"; and the play-text (...)
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  23. Applications and Extensions of Counterpart Theory.Peterson Bridgette - 2017 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst
    An exploration of the details of counterpart theory, and some applications of the view. In Chapter 1, I set out the view and clarify the most important features: that the counterpart relation is a context dependent similarity relation, and that individuals are world-bound entities. I then set out what I take to be the most promising methods of filling in important details. Chapter 2 is a discussion of an alternative view, lump theory. I attempt to distinguish lump theory from counterpart (...)
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  24. The Truth About Sherlock Holmes.Fredrik Haraldsen - 2017 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 24 (3):339-365.
    According to possibilism, or non-actualism, fictional characters are possible individuals. Possibilist accounts of fiction do not only assign the intuitively correct truth-conditions to sentences in a fiction, but has the potential to provide powerful explanatory models for a wide range of phenomena associated with fiction (though these two aspects of possibilism are, I argue, crucially distinct). Apart from the classic defense by David Lewis the idea of modeling fiction in terms of possible worlds have been widely criticized. In this article, (...)
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  25. A Purely Recombinatorial Puzzle.Fritz Peter - 2017 - Noûs 51 (3):547-564.
    A new puzzle of modal recombination is presented which relies purely on resources of first-order modal logic. It shows that naive recombinatorial reasoning, which has previously been shown to be inconsistent with various assumptions concerning propositions, sets and classes, leads to inconsistency by itself. The context sensitivity of modal expressions is suggested as the source of the puzzle, and it is argued that it gives us reason to reconsider the assumption that the notion of metaphysical necessity is in good standing.
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  26. Here Goes Nothing.Lee Barry - 2016 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 12 (1):27-45.
    Subtraction arguments support the view that there might have been nothing. The best-developed SA to date, due to David Efird and Tom Stoneham, is claimed by its authors to entail that there are worlds in which there are space-time points but no concrete objects: Efird and Stoneham hold that space-time points are not concrete and that a world made up from them alone contains nothing concrete. In this paper it is argued that whole space-times are concrete and subtractable, so that (...)
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  27. Introduzione alle Logiche Modali.Marcello Frixione, Samuele Iaquinto & Massimiliano Vignolo - 2016 - Roma-Bari: Laterza.
    La logica modale è nata per studiare i ragionamenti su ciò che è possibile e ciò che è necessario. Negli ultimi decenni, a partire dal lavoro di logici e filosofi quali Rudolf Carnap, Saul Kripke e David Lewis, la sua applicazione è stata progressivamente estesa ad altri ambiti, quali il ragionamento sul tempo, sulla conoscenza e sui sistemi di norme. Queste ricerche hanno condotto a un complesso e intrigante dialogo con alcune fondamentali branche della filosofia: la metafisica, l’epistemologia, la filosofia (...)
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  28. Interview with Francesco Berto.Luca Moretti - 2016 - The Reasoner 10 (5):36-38.
  29. Between the Actual and the Trivial World.Maciej Sendłak - 2016 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 23 (2):162-176.
    The subject of this paper is the notion of similarity between the actual and impossible worlds. Many believe that this notion is governed by two rules. Ac-cording to the first rule, every non-trivial world is more similar to the actual world than the trivial world is. The second rule states that every possible world is more similar to the actual world than any impossible world is. The aim of this paper is to challenge both of these rules. We argue that (...)
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  30. Three Kinds of Worlds and Two Kinds of Truth.Wolfgang Spohn - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (5):1335-1359.
    This paper argues for three kinds of possible worlds: Wittgensteinian totalities of facts, Lewisian worlds or universes, concrete objects of maximal essence, and the world, a concrete object of minimal essence. It moreover explains that correspondence truth applies to Wittgensteinian totalities and pragmatic truth to Lewisian universes. And it finally argues that this conceptualization lays proper foundations to two-dimensional semantics.
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  31. La expresión de lo cognoscible y los mundos posibles.Paulo Velez Leon - 2016 - In Jonas Rafael Becker Arenhart, Jaimir Conte & Cezar Augusto Mortari (eds.), Temas em filosofia contemporânea II. Florianópolis/SC, Brasil: Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina. pp. 64-74.
    La noción de mundos posibles, sostiene que nuestro mundo es un mundo entre otros, un subconjunto de todas las cosas que existen. Esto implica aceptar que existen mundos estructuralmente equivalentes con sus propios lenguajes [formales], que entre sí no tienen ningún estatuto privilegiado, p.e., el mundo y lenguaje del arte o el mundo y lenguaje de la física; no obstante, la idea de aceptar otros mundos equivalentes como mundos posibles epistémica y ontológicamente legítimos para acceder y expresar lo cognoscible del (...)
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  32. Freedom and the Self: Essays on the Philosophy of David Foster Wallace.Steven M. Cahn & Maureen Eckert (eds.) - 2015 - Columbia University Press.
    The book_ Fate, Time, and Language: An Essay on Free Will_, published in 2010 by Columbia University Press, presented David Foster Wallace's challenge to Richard Taylor's argument for fatalism. In this anthology, notable philosophers engage directly with that work and assess Wallace's reply to Taylor as well as other aspects of Wallace's thought. With an introduction by Steven M. Cahn and Maureen Eckert, this collection includes essays by William Hasker, Gila Sher, Marcello Oreste Fiocco, Daniel R. Kelly, Nathan Ballantyne, Justin (...)
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  33. Coextension and Identity.Ghislain Guigon - 2015 - In Ghislain Guigon & Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra (eds.), Nominalism About Properties: New Essays. Routledge. pp. 135-155.
    This chapter is concerned with the coextension difficulty for nominalist theories of properties that reject tropes alongside universals. After carefully explaining the coextension difficulty and describing the theories it targets, the chapter describes different solutions to the difficulty. These solutions differ with respect to how much involved they are into a dualist approach to coextension. A dualist approach to a case of coextension consists in agreeing with the realist that the relevant ascriptions of properties are numerically distinct. A monist approach (...)
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  34. III—Aristotelian Supervenience.John Heil - 2015 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 115 (1pt1):41-56.
    Three matchsticks could be arranged on a table so as to form a triangle. Were you to place a lump of sugar into a cup of hot tea it would dissolve. You might never have been born. Such assertions express modal judgements and, as we suppose, truths about the universe. But if modal judgements can be true, what features of the universe make them true? Thanks largely to the efforts of David Lewis, philosophers nowadays find it natural to appeal to (...)
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  35. Arguing From Molinism to Neo-Molinism.Elijah Hess - 2015 - Philosophia Christi 17 (2):331-351.
    In a pair of recent essays, William Lane Craig has argued that certain open theist understandings of the nature of the future are both semantically and modally confused. I argue that this is not the case and show that, if consistently observed, the customary semantics for counterfactuals Craig relies on not only undermine the validity of his complaint against the open theist, they actually support an argument for the openness position.
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  36. Review of Bob Hale's Necessary Beings. [REVIEW]Nils Kürbis - 2015 - Disputatio (40):92-100.
    Review of Bob Hale's "Necessary Beings: An Essay on Ontology, Modality, and the Relations Between Them". Oxford: Oxford University Press 2013, ISBN 9780199669578.
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  37. Problems for Modal Reductionism: Concrete Possible Worlds as a Test Case.Jonathan Nassim - 2015 - Dissertation, Birkbeck College
    This thesis is an argument for the view that there are problems for Modal Reductionism, the thesis that modality can satisfactorily be defined in non-modal terms. -/- I proceed via a case study of David Lewis’s theory of concrete possible worlds. This theory is commonly regarded as the best and most influential candidate reductive theory of modality. Based on a detailed examination of its ontology, analysis and justification, I conclude that it does badly with respect to the following four minimal (...)
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  38. Worlds, Not Worldviews: Reply to Beillard.Timothy J. Nulty - 2015 - Metaphysica 16 (2).
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  39. Possible Worlds and the Objective World.Jeffrey Sanford Russell - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (2):389-422.
    David Lewis holds that a single possible world can provide more than one way things could be. But what are possible worlds good for if they come apart from ways things could be? We can make sense of this if we go in for a metaphysical understanding of what the world is. The world does not include everything that is the case—only the genuine facts. Understood this way, Lewis's “cheap haecceitism” amounts to a kind of metaphysical anti-haecceitism: it says there (...)
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  40. Modality and Paradox.Gabriel Uzquiano - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (4):284-300.
    Philosophers often explain what could be the case in terms of what is, in fact, the case at one possible world or another. They may differ in what they take possible worlds to be or in their gloss of what is for something to be the case at a possible world. Still, they stand united by the threat of paradox. A family of paradoxes akin to the set-theoretic antinomies seem to allow one to derive a contradiction from apparently plausible principles. (...)
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  41. Recombination and Paradox.Gabriel Uzquiano - 2015 - Philosophers' Imprint 15.
    The doctrine that whatever could exist does exist leads to a proliferation of possibly concrete objects given certain principles of recombination. If, for example, there could have been a large infinite number of concrete objects, then there is at least the same number of possibly concrete objects in existence. And further cardinality considerations point to a tension between the preceding doctrine and the Cantorian conception of the absolutely infinite. This paper develops a parallel problem for a variety of possible worlds (...)
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  42. Counterfactuals and Their Truthmakers.Joshua Anderson - 2014 - Polish Journal of Philosophy 8 (2):7-24.
    This article compares David Lewis’s understanding of counterfactuals with a Platonic theory of counterfactual truthmakers. By pointing to some weaknesses in Lewis’s theory, it will highlight some of the strengths of the Platonic theory. The article will progress in the following way. First, I present David Lewis’s understanding of counterfactuals, and discuss some problems the theory has. Next, I discuss Platonic truthmakers, in general, and then show how this applies to counterfactuals. Finally, I discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the (...)
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  43. Worlds and Propositions Set Free.Otávio Bueno, Christopher Menzel & Edward N. Zalta - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (4):797–820.
    The authors provide an object-theoretic analysis of two paradoxes in the theory of possible worlds and propositions stemming from Russell and Kaplan. After laying out the paradoxes, the authors provide a brief overview of object theory and point out how syntactic restrictions that prevent object-theoretic versions of the classical paradoxes are justified philosophically. The authors then trace the origins of the Russell paradox to a problematic application of set theory in the definition of worlds. Next the authors show that an (...)
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  44. Mere Possibilities: Metaphysical Foundations of Modal Semantics.John Divers - 2014 - Philosophical Quarterly 64 (254):163-166.
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  45. Against Logically Possible World-Relativized Existence.Dale Jacquette - 2014 - Metaphysica 15 (1).
    The thesis that entities exist in, at, or in relation to logically possible worlds is criticized. The suggestion that actually nonexistent fictional characters might nevertheless exist in nonactual merely logically possible worlds runs afoul of the most general transworld identity requirements. An influential philosophical argument for the concept of world-relativized existence is examined in Alvin Plantinga’s formal development and explanation of modal semantic relations. Despite proposing an attractive unified semantics of alethic modality, Plantinga’s argument is rejected on formal grounds as (...)
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  46. The Probability of the Possible.Ron Wilburn - 2014 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 10 (1):44-55.
    In “Why is There Anything at All?” Peter van Inwagen argues that even though it was never necessary that concrete beings existed, it was always maximally probable – just short of necessity – that they did . I argue that van Inwagen’s argument fails, albeit for an interesting reason which has remained so far unnoticed in the literature: there is a critical ten- sion between two of its premises, both essential to its soundness, concerning the nature of comprehensively specified possible (...)
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  47. The Fundamental Theorem of World Theory.Edward N. Zalta & Christopher Menzel - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (2-3):333-363.
    The fundamental principle of the theory of possible worlds is that a proposition p is possible if and only if there is a possible world at which p is true. In this paper we present a valid derivation of this principle from a more general theory in which possible worlds are defined rather than taken as primitive. The general theory uses a primitive modality and axiomatizes abstract objects, properties, and propositions. We then show that this general theory has very small (...)
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  48. " Possibility", de Michael Jubien.Rodrigo Neira Castaño - 2013 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 32 (3):179-183.
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  49. Possible Worlds.Christopher Menzel - 2013 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    This article includes a basic overview of possible world semantics and a relatively comprehensive overview of three central philosophical conceptions of possible worlds: Concretism (represented chiefly by Lewis), Abstractionism (represented chiefly by Plantinga), and Combinatorialism (represented chiefly by Armstrong).
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  50. The Fundamental Theorem of World Theory.Christopher Menzel & Edward N. Zalta - 2013 - Journal of Philosophical Logic (2-3):1-31.
    The fundamental principle of the theory of possible worlds is that a proposition p is possible if and only if there is a possible world at which p is true. In this paper we present a valid derivation of this principle from a more general theory in which possible worlds are defined rather than taken as primitive. The general theory uses a primitive modality and axiomatizes abstract objects, properties, and propositions. We then show that this general theory has very small (...)
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